Marsha Dahmer Pulmonary Rehab Icon

October 7, 2021
Marsha Dahmer Pulmonary Rehab Icon

Pre-Pulmonary Rehab Marsha began walking short distances near her home attempting to build her respiratory muscles and hopefully improve her debilitating COPD prognosis. She was admitted to the hospital for an exacerbation of her COPD in 2013. Scott Chartier visited her at this time and asked if she would like to try out the new Pulmonary Rehab program here at Schoolcraft Memorial.  “Why not!” she replied and so it began.

When Marsha entered the program, she was wearing oxygen all the time. She could only walk slowly and for a short time on the treadmill. She found the staff to be encouraging and easy to work with. She also found some new friends who were in a similar situation.  As time went on friendships grew.  She felt stronger and needed the oxygen less and less.

As Pulmonary Rehab begins today, Marsha is the first to arrive. After 8 years she is still in the program. She is now without oxygen using it only as she feels the need. She walks for up to an hour at a speed of 3.5 mph with an incline of 4.5 She works on the Nustep and uses the Arm Ergometer. She has lost about 50 pounds.  As the next group arrives someone jokes “Hey Marsha! I found someone who can beat you on the treadmill! Have you seen the Liberty commercial with the ostrich on the treadmill!?”

Marsha has recruited people back to the rehab program. Others have been so encouraged by her quiet diligence that they have asked to be in her time slot. Marsha’s motto is, “Never give up.” She’s an excellent example of what is possible Through rehab. We are all trying to catch up with Marsha. She is a Pulmonary Rehab Icon!

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